Top Headlines

Bitcoin Plunges Below $13,000, Heads for Worst Week Since 2013 – Reuters

Bitcoin plunged below $13,000 (£10,970) after losing around a third of its value in just five days, with the digital currency on track for its worst week since 2013 after a blistering ascent to a peak close to $20,000 on Sunday.

‘Nightmare’: Bitcoin Enthusiasts React to Digital Currency’s Tumble – Financial Times (subscription)

Sentiment among bitcoin enthusiasts on online message boards has turned from broadly bullish to wary overnight as prices have dropped deep into a bear market, hours after shares in a drinks maker rocketed 500 per cent after it inserted ‘blockchain’ into its name.

Bitcoin Futures Pricing Kindles Manipulation Fears – Risk (subscription)

CME and CBOE insist pricing methodology is robust; critics say contracts are ripe for manipulation.

Dollar Edges Up, Euro Slumps After Catalan Vote – Reuters

The dollar edged up though it remained on track for weekly losses, while the euro slumped after Catalan vote results indicated a victory for separatists in a blow to Madrid.

Euro Edges Lower After Separatists Clinch Catalan Election – Financial Times (subscription)

The euro dipped in early Asia trading after pro-independence parties in Catalonia won an absolute majority in regional elections on Thursday.

Sterling Slips Ahead of British GDP Data Release – Reuters

Sterling weakened slightly ahead of revised economic growth numbers for the third quarter and data on the size of Britain’s current account, with traders avoiding big positions before the holiday period.

City of London Should Be Optimistic About Brexit, May Says – Bloomberg

Prime Minister Theresa May said UK financial services should be optimistic about Britain’s trade talks with the European Union, despite EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier ruling out a special deal for the sector.

Banks Are Worried Tech Systems Could Crash After Introduction of New EU Rules – Bloomberg

Computers crashing, investors frozen out of markets and a heightened risk of fat finger mistakes. That’s the worst-case scenario when the biggest change to European rules for the investment industry in a decade finally come into effect next month.

Regulatory News

ESMA Tells Authorities to Shore-Up Default Testing of CCPs – The Trade

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has highlighted issues with various national regulators over their supervision of default testing for clearing houses.

Democrats Slam Wall Street Regulator’s Decision on Bank Oversight – Bloomberg

A decision by President Donald Trump’s newest Wall Street regulator to keep government examiners inside banks is drawing criticism from Senate Democrats, who said it will make watchdogs more likely to sympathize with finance executives they are responsible for policing.

Industry Slams ‘Unhelpful’ Last-Minute Mifid LEI Relief – Risk

Esma’s six-month respite “too little, too late” to avoid no-trade lists on January 3.

Company News

WMBA Rebrands – Profit & Loss

The Wholesale Markets Brokers’ Association (WMBA) has announced that with immediate effect it will change its name to the European Venues and Intermediaries Association (EVIA).

Goldman Is Setting Up a Cryptocurrency Trading Desk – Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs Group is setting up a trading desk to make markets in digital currencies such as bitcoin, according to people with knowledge of the strategy.

Eurex Taps Former CME Clearing Sales Head Husted – FOW (subscription)

Frankfurt-based exchange is set to launch its swaps clearing program on January 1.

Market Savvy

Most Asian Currencies Barely Move Ahead of Christmas Holidays – Kitco/Reuters

Most emerging Asian currencies made small moves, in thin trade, as investors avoided sizable bets ahead of the holiday weekend, while the US dollar inched up marginally.

Philippine Peso Predicted to Be Asia’s Worst-Performing Currency in 2018 – Bloomberg

Investors rejoicing over the Philippine peso’s rally to a six-month high should beware: the currency is predicted to be Asia’s worst performer next year.

New Zealand Faces Threats from Within as Growth Slows Into 2018 – Bloomberg

For a small economy whose fortunes often rise and fall on the global tide, New Zealand’s biggest threats in 2018 may come from within.